Cinema Clips: The Salesman

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Writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s (A Separation) latest involves Ermad (Shahab Hosseni), a teacher and part time actor in Iran forced to leave his home when it becomes uninhabitable. He moves to a new place on short notice with his wife, Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), while they are both in the middle of a run for Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

Things go badly when Rana leaves the door to their new apartment open and is attacked after someone thinking they were visiting the previous tenant enters. The film then becomes a slow burn mystery as Ermad, a normally mild-mannered man, unravels a bit (but only a bit) as he tries to figure out who the attacker is. Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of this film is Ermad’s relative coldness towards his wife in the aftermath of the attack, a move that makes her even more of a victim. It’s hard, and painful, to watch, but Hosseni and Alidoosti make it very compelling and real. It’s also a story that is far from predictable.

The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2017 Oscars. It stands a very good chance of winning.

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